Currently, I am playing a level 5 Halfling rogue with 22 dexterity. 17 base + 2 for race + 2 for gloves of dex(+2) + 1 from level up. How can I increase my dexterity to its relative maximum using only rules in the 3.5e PHB and DMG? Ways I know already:

  • 17 points base
  • 2 points from race
  • 5 points from leveling
  • 6 points from item
  • 5 points from wishes Totaling 35

1 Answer 1


That's it.

Other than starting from an 18 point base, that's it. In the 3.5e PHB and DMG, that's the maximum.

In Non-Core, however.

The Sources of Bonuses to Ability Scores thread at Brilliant Gameologist's Min/Max Boards provides all known bonuses to ability scores.

In SRD only

The SRD (System Reference Document) is the freely released freely available D&D content outside of web articles and the like. It's available in handy hypertext format at d20srd.org.

Taking a quick look through that, the Whirling Frenzy custom barbarian Rage variant gives +4 dex, the Epic Level rules have a feat that gives +dex, and the monsters included include lots of +dex races that also have a listed LA - and so are playable, if terrible.

With the MM

With the MM1, and the polymorph or shapechange spells, you can boost your base dex quite high, and then add the normal buffs on top of that to have a quite high dex.

It's 'permanent' because those spells can, with Extend and repeated castings, last most of the day.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I was just reading the DMG, would the +5 Manual of Quickness of Action be considered inherent bonus which is capped at +5 including wishes? \$\endgroup\$
    – dryver
    Jul 3, 2014 at 17:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @dryver. It specifically says that it's inherent, and bonuses of the same name do not stack (unless they say they do, which inherent doesn't). Is this a matter of scholarly interest, or are you trying to achieve something specific? \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Jul 3, 2014 at 17:48
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @dryver - Being a powerful rogue is about understanding the kind of story you are in and preparing appropriately in terms of gear, contacts, and strategy. Not max dex score. You will always have less raw numbers as a rogue than a spellcaster, or even a fighter-type, your strong suit is being an int-based hero, so planning. Skills are great with planning and forethought, terrible if you try to shoot at them at a problem like a spell. That said, google 'flask rogue', as it's probably what you're looking for. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Jul 3, 2014 at 17:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @dryver - Ask a new question with your actual goal 'how do I make the strongest possible Rogue using these sources', specify if you just want to be 'roguelike' or actually use the rogue class, and i'll write an answer based on that. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Jul 3, 2014 at 18:00
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Reduce Person grants a +2 size bonus to dexterity \$\endgroup\$ Dec 16, 2015 at 21:52

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